.

Mmmm... interactive development during the week, red sox all night, and weekends filled with super tasty slow-smoked pork products. Perfect.

Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

First and foremost, I'm totally obsessed with the red sox... a big, big fan. Not really a sports guy, but I probably watch 150 sox games a year. It's kind of intense. OK, it's totally intense.

But work-wise, I founded Domani Studios with Jon Hills back in 2001... I'm the Studio Director, and haven't designed anything seriously other than my email footer for a few years now.

I've become more of a sounding board and team leader... sounds kinda lame, but I'm really enjoying working with the crew we've assembled here. These guys are pretty rockin', and I have a ton of fun helping them to realize our collective creative vision.

Prior to kicking it in Dumbo, I evolved from an interactive designer to an ACD at Young and Rubicam's interactive arm. I also spent some time as a Design Director at an interactive boutique in soho called Braincraft.

Oh, and BBQ is super important to me.... I smoke my own ribs and pulled pork all summer long.

Mmmm... interactive development during the week, red sox all night, and weekends filled with super tasty slow-smoked pork products. Perfect.

What do you do for inspiration?

Think and stare. It helps to have a window, but I often find myself gazing at a radiator, or a sleeping cat.

Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

I hate this question... so much pressure! For me it's about content. I mean I get as stoked looking at full-screen video sites and crazy physical treatments as the next guy, but there has to be something of actual value for me to really care.

So the sites I frequent are redsox.com. yanksfanvssoxfan.com, and bostondirtdogs.com. (seriously, I'm obsessed).

And I gotta say that mlb.com does some pretty sick live data integration in flash. Find a live game on mlb.com and checkout "gameday" ... every year they make it better.

I spend a ton of time on projectpath (basecamp), and while I think it has a ways to go before it satisfies even 70% of my project management desires, I do love the web 2.0 stuff going on. If they'd just speed up performance I'd be in heaven.

I thought gettheglass.com was pretty fresh. Huge downloads, and I couldn't get past like the 3rd level... but pretty badass nonetheless.

I want to like flikr, but I just never use the thing.

What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

Raising my kid (thus far) tops the list, but for an FWA audience it's gotta be creating Domani Studios. I'm very proud of the team we've assembled over the years.

What software couldn't you live without?

OSX's Mail. Lame answer, but I'd be so screwed without email. I write emails constantly... and take way too long to do it.

I think I'll re-read and edit an email 5-to-15 times before I'm ready to send it. Next time you get an email form me, please read it... I probably slaved over it.

What projects do you have in the pipeline?

Tons of cool stuff going on... NDAs prohibit me a little, but we're working with VW, Coke, Bud, and New Line to name a few of the cooler brands.

We have a Wii game in development, and are doing some pretty progressive AS3 work these days. I think the next 4 months are going to be hard, but really worth it for us.

Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?

I don't really think of shops as "design companies" so much anymore. The work that excites me is about the entire concept, not just the look, you know?

I'm becoming more and more impressed with Crispin. Did I just say that? I know, I feel like most of my peers are totally sick of hearing about these guys. But we just worked with them for the past 4-5 months on redesigning VW.com, and I was super impressed with the entire process.

It was one of the first times we were involved in creative with those guys, and it was a pretty rewarding experience. They can be relentless with tweaking, but the end result is always WAY better for it. I admire them for that.

I've also been impressed with North Kingdom recently... I don't know that much about them, but I've been intrigued by how experience-driven some of their work is. Wraps you up into it pretty quickly.

I can't think of a third to single-out... too many good ones around.

What effect on traffic do your new designs have?

Generally the work we do is totally new, so there isn't anything to base it against aside from maybe a crappy campaign from 18 months ago. But I'd like to think we quadruple all site traffic, actually octo-tuple it.

Who is your target audience?

This changes with each brand and campaign, but more often than not we're realizing the end-user (and our clients) are becoming more savvy with online capabilities.

We're no longer convincing people to do things that push the envelope, we're just convincing them to get the right budget for the job.

What area of web design lacks the most?

I still think content blows overall. Many shops are creating fresh new interfaces, pushing things technologically, etc... but so much of what's out there is ultimately un-fulfilling content-wise.

I think we're as guilty of this as anyone, but the most rewarding work actually allows the user to either learn something or do something valuable.

What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?

Not online anymore, but it was built with Net0bjectsFusion, and contained a surprising number of refrigerator magnet packaging designs.

Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?

No books yet... maybe someday. I've always wanted to compile email threads I've had with some peeps over the years. With all the time I spend writing emails, it'd be nice if someone read them. Ha.

What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?

For me personally? I built the first site we designed for Estee Lauder's Bumble and bumble... this is back in 2001.

I had no freakin' clue what I was doing and learned everything on the fly. I think it was only about 4 weeks of work. It won awards back then though, which I was pretty proud of at the time. It's since gone through many iterations and my version isn't online anymore. Sniff, sniff.

Do you think Flash is here to stay?

Yes, absolutely. Maybe it will evolve into something else, but I think it's legit.

What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?

Yes, I think so much of design is raw talent so you don't NEED school to succeed in the market... but what school does do for you is give you an enormous amount of time to create.

If you're dedicated to it, you can be insanely prolific while in school.

When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?

Word of mouth. We always stressed personal relationships with clients, and when your clients are happy they talk to their friends.

I think 90% of our new clients came from referrals to start. It's still a huge part of our philosophy.

How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?

Uh, I don't know that I personally have that many skills... but the one thing I am good at is talking through a problem from a very top level.

I think there's a tendency to become way too detail oriented when troubleshooting a potential execution solution... you have to be able to pick your head out from what you're doing at that moment, and potentially be willing to throw away everything you've done if there's a better way to do it.

And 9 times out of 10, better = more simple.

What is the most expensive thing you've bought in the last week?

I just spent 50 bucks on three bottles of wine, which goes way over my self-imposed $10/bottle limit.

And I'm considering buying DirectTV even though I already have cable just so I can watch the red sox down here in New York. My wife thinks I'm nuts... I probably am.

What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?

Yeah I think I am a labels man. I don't necessarily like it when labels are visible, but I do like certain brands and feel nice when I'm in some things.

My wife got me a Paul Smith watch for my birthday recently, and I think if it looked the same and was made by Fossil I wouldn't like it as much. Yes, that is weak... but it's the truth. Guess advertising is the right industry for me!

Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

The Yankees Suck.

It's been a privilege, thanks very much.

Wordy word-word.


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